The Communication Studio

Site Evaluation

Heuristic ( heuristics; Greek: , "find" or "discover") refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery. Heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a good enough solution, where an exhaustive search is impractical. Examples of this method include using a "rule of thumb", an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, or common sense.

The Site Evaluation is often the first step in an engagement.

This high-level insight is pretty effective at identifying the accessible low-hanging fruit.

I spend some time at your site; pushing, prodding, and taking notes.

In a short period of time I can tell you ...

What it Is

What Needs Work

What's Missing

First Impressions

Brief Synopsis

The thumbnail overview includes "First Impressions", with annotated screenshots.

Overall Evaluation

(See below) In-depth assessment of the site's Presentation, Content and Functionality. With simple ratings so you'll know the score.

Site Features

Breakdown of the site content areas and functions; what they're made of, how well they work

Heuristics: Evaluation Checklist

This portion of the document gives us a sense of the general strengths and weaknesses of the site. Here's a brief overview of the some of the types of topics I look at - and how I describe them.


Navigation immediacy, obviousness, consistency

Design Theme continuity, attractiveness

Graphics appropriateness, speed of display

Additional topics: Layout, Clarity, Comprehension ...


Structure cohesion, fluidity

Context Sensitivity richness, validity

Depth volume, utility

Cross-referencing appropriateness

Additional topics: Flow, Relevance, Coherence ...


Site Map structure, completeness

Quick Tour validity, conciseness

Help clarity, completeness

Additional topics: Glossary, Contact Us, Shortcuts, Personalization, Printability ...


Goal-oriented Does it achieve intent?

Useful Is it worthwhile?

Impressive Is it memorable?

Additional topics: Enjoyable, Interesting, Attractive ...

At the end of the day we have a basis for discussing what needs to be done and how to go about doing it.

The next step might be a Content Inventory

What Needs to Be Done